A quarterly update from Burlington Public Library CEO, Lita Barrie
Behind the Scenes

The CEO’s Corner

Hello! And welcome to our BPL News & Reviews site. If this is your first time visiting, let me help you find your way around. This page of our site includes fantastic book recommendations, the latest library news, literacy tips, and more.  

Check it Out! Includes book lists, resource recommendations, program suggestions and more.

Love to Learn compiles information about the various literacies we support at the library, including reading and writing, digital literacy, environmental literacy and others.

Behind the Scenes gives you a peek at how our library works. It showcases the amazing people who work at BPL and what they do to make our library run smoothly.

Library News is your go-to source for updates about BPL, including major announcements, significant changes to hours or services, and news we’re very proud to share.

Once each quarter, I’ll be posting an update on this page called The CEO’s Corner. This is my chance to share what we’re doing at the library and why. Our goal is always to serve you, our community, the best way we can. These posts will give you a glance at our strategic priorities and how we’re putting them into practice for you, our customers.

Celebrating 150

This past weekend, we celebrated of 150 years of Burlington Public Library service. When I think about the history and future of Burlington Public Library, I am in awe of how much our organization has changed in service of this community.  

Burlington has always been a community of avid readers. Our Library’s early history relied on the involvement of residents who even housed the collection in their homes before a permanent site was purchased. That dedicated involvement of community and staff members is what continues to shape our Library.

Even fifty years ago, when we celebrated our centennial, the thought of borrowing a book on a feather-light, handheld computer was laughable. But here we are—offering opportunities for reading, learning, and shared space in new and innovative ways. We have expanded our collection and programs to represent our diverse community and changing world.  

That’s why your input is so important. Every time you borrow a book, attend a program, or meet a friend for a chat at one of our branches, you are shaping the library’s future. You are reinforcing the value of public libraries and literacy when you bring your child in for their first library card or join a BPL book club.   

We thrive because of your involvement. Thank you for helping us become a modern, community-oriented library that champions new ideas and will serve Burlington for another 150 years.

Customers Shape Our Service

Customer input is a big priority for us, and we are currently putting feedback from our Spring 2022 Customer Satisfaction Survey into action. We had lots of great responses to our questionnaire. Some key themes included:

  • A desire for programs and resources to be easier to discover and navigate
  • WiFi and space to use your own devices are very important
  • Staff should be highly visible, especially at a large location like Central Branch

Our teams greatly appreciate your feedback and are working to improve service. We have already acted on some items, like turning Wi-Fi on 24/7 and moving to a bi-monthly newsletter to share more programs and resources.

We will continue to implement changes based on your feedback and will be releasing another survey in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Open More Hours to Serve You

Over the course of the last 4 years, another key area of focus for BPL has been expanding our hours. We have been able to expand our overall open hours by nearly 20 percent as of this fall when we introduced our extended schedule. Some branches, including New Appleby and Aldershot, have seen a 60 percent increase in open hours since 2018.

This increase happened because of feedback from you—our customers. After receiving customer feedback about the need for increased branch access, we included this goal in our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. We have been gradually increasing service hours since then. Our 2020 and 2022 customer surveys reaffirmed this direction. Despite the pandemic, we’ve remained focused on increasing your access to your library.

Through this process, we’ve also eliminated reduced summer hours. 52 weeks a year, 7 days a week, our branches are open to serve you. These moderate increases to our service hours have not increased our staffing budget, but they have made the library accessible to more people with diverse needs and schedules and expanded access to our collection, programs, and spaces. At BPL, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to best serve our community.

Where Past, Present, and Future Meet

As we celebrate our 150th year and make significant updates like extending our hours, I am reflecting on how much we have changed with our growing community. Burlington Public Library is a place where the past, present, and future meet.  

We are a lifespan service, open to all at every age and stage of life. This grants us the privilege of having many stories to tell. We’re so excited to have this news space on our website where we can share some of our stories with you. We hope you’ll share yours too! You can always get in touch with us to share stories or feedback.

Happy reading!